New Delhi: At a time when the coronavirus cases in the country have crossed 18,000-mark, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said that over 61 additional districts in the country have not reported any fresh case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Also Read - Maintain Social Distancing as 80% of COVID-19 Patients Asymptomatic: Health Ministry

“Over 61 additional districts from 23 States/UT have not reported any fresh cases in last 14 days. Moreover, 4 new districts have been included to the list such as Latur, Osmanabad, Hingoli and Washim in  Maharashtra,” the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. Also Read - Don't Spray Disinfectant on People, Says Health Ministry Days After Migrants Were 'Cleansed'

Addressing a press conference, Ministry of Health Joint Secretary Lav Agrawal  said that till now, there are 18601 positive cases. “So far, 3252 people have recovered including 705 people who recovered yesterday. This takes our recovery percentage to 17.48%,” he said. Also Read - 957 Fresh Cases & 36 Deaths in 24 Hours, Mortality Rate 3.3%, Recovery 13.85%: Health Ministry

He also said that the Centre has issued detailed guidelines to all states that while the focus is on COVID19, all other services need to be provided, be it for dialysis or HIV/cancer treatments. He also said that at the same time required infection management prevention should be in place.

The ICMR, on the other hand, said it is a new disease, in the last 3 and half months, science has progressed and developed PCR tests, 5 vaccines have gone into human trial phase out of 70 vaccine candidates.

He also added that 4,49,810 samples have been tested so far and 35,852 samples were tested yesterday, of which 29,776 samples were tested in 201 Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) network labs and remaining 6,076 samples were tested in 86 private labs.

The ICMR stated that the states have been advised not to use rapid testing kits for two days as kits will be tested and validated by on-ground teams and the Centre will give advisory in the next 2 days.

The chairman of 4th Empowered Group said that the details of corona warriors, in 20 categories and 49 sub-categories, who can contribute to COVID19 management efforts, are available to states and union territories on the portal to tackle COVID-19.

He said that the portal has been created as a master database of healthcare professionals and volunteers. “Till now, details of 1.24 crore human resources of various kinds have been added to it,” he added.